Vero Beach, FL- The top tournament in Florida this past weekend was the USSSA Super NIT at the Vero Beach Sports Village. This tournament featured some of the best teams in the state. Among the 65 teams signed up to participate in the 6 different age divisions, 35 of those teams are rank by TbS/USSSA in the top 20 in the state in their respective division. That is the main reason this tournament was loaded with talented teams. The winner of each age division received a berth to the USSSA Elite World Series at Disney’s Wild World of Sports in July.
In the 9U Division, there were 10 teams, with seven of those teams ranked in the top 20 in the state, all competing for the title and the berth to the USSSA Elite World Series. After some tough games in pool play and in the quarterfinals, four teams remained. One semi-final had the top ranked team in Florida Team MVP/Legends versus the seventh ranked Central Florida Lugnuts. In the other semi-final you had the eighth ranked team in the state, Team Extreme versus the fourth ranked South Florida Stealth. Team MVP/Legends got to the semi-finals by squeezing out a 6-5 win versus the eleventh ranked Miami Elite in the quarter finals. Again they showed why they are not only ranked top ranked in the state, but in the country as well. Knocking off the seventh ranked Central Florida Lugnuts 5-2, they advanced to the finals. In the other semi-final, a slugfest continued with the eighth ranked Team Extreme, holding on for the victory against the fourth ranked South Florida Stealth by a score of 11-10. Rain however, would prevent the Championship from being played. Since both teams are from the South Florida area, both will play the championship game on Tuesday at their local park.
The 10U Division had a total of ten teams, seven of which are ranked in the top 20 in the state of Florida. When the tournament reached the semi-finals, the sixth ranked CBC Riverhawks from Jacksonville faced the third ranked Team MVP 10U in one semi-final. In the other semi-final, the second ranked Team Florida went up against #19 ranked Bulldogs. To get to the semi-final, Team MVP had to hold on against the tenth ranked Florida Pokers for a 9-8 win. In the semi-final game between Team MVP and CBC Riverhawks the weather played a big role. With the CBC Riverhawks up 6-5 in the top of the fifth inning, the rain started and after a 2-hour rain delay, the game was moved to another park. Once play resumed, feeling ignited behind two big clutch hits, Team MVP held on for an 8-7 victory and advanced to the finals. In the other semi-final game second ranked Team Florida defeated the #19 ranked Bulldogs 9-2. The finals had Team Florida against Team MVP. In the end Team Florida proved to be too much for Team MVP as Team Florida put on a show and took home the championship by a score of 16-1. Team Florida now has an overall record of 19-2 with three out of four tournament wins in USSSA play.
In the 11U Division 15 teams competed for the Elite World Series berth. Out of those 15 teams, TbS/USSSA ranks eight teams in the top 20 in the state of Florida. Four of those teams rank in the top 20 in the country. This division was one of the most competitive this weekend. Going into the semi-finals eleventh ranked MVP/Pines competed against the third ranked Florida Piranaz in one semi-final and top ranked Team MVP squaring off against the Wellington Colts. After losing their two seeding games, MVP/Pines went on to win their first two elimination games and find themselves in the semi- final game. However, the Florida Piranaz proved to be too much for them as the they won the game by a score of 10-2. In the other semi-final game, Team MVP found themselves in a battle with the unranked Wellington Colts (that should change in this week’s ranking). The Wellington Colts gave Team MVP all they could handle, but Team MVP squeezed out a 9-8 victory. The championship game was a pitchers dual, as Florida Piranaz held off a late rally by Team MVP to capture the championship 3-1. The Florida Piranaz now has an overall record of 41-14 with 5 tournament wins in USSSA play.
The 12U Division had a total of 15 teams competing for the title and out of those 15 teams TbS/USSSA ranks 7 in the top 20 in the state. The semi- finals featured 4 of those teams. One semi-final had the #1 ranked team in the state Team MVP against the #5 ranked team in the state the Stingrays 12U out of New Smyrna Beach, Florida. The other semi-final had the #3 ranked team in the state South Florida Stealth facing off against the #8 ranked team in the state PTI Maniacs. The #1 ranked Team MVP jumped out to a 5-1 lead going into the 5th inning only to have the #5 ranked Stingrays score 2 to make it 5-3 however that as close as it would get as #1 Team MVP held to a 6-3 victory. In the other semi-final the #8 PTI Maniacs jumped out early in the first inning with 3 runs and never looked back as they defeated the #3 ranked South Florida Stealth 14-2. The finals saw #1 Team MVP jump out to a 2-0 lead only to have #8 PTI Maniacs come back to tie the score and eventually take the lead 3-2 in the top of the 6. However #1 ranked Team MVP has found them in this situation before and it showed, as they were able to rally and pull off a 4-3 win. Team MVP has a record of 64-0 with 15 tournament wins, among those two Super NIT Titles in USSSA play.
In the 13U Division, eight teams competed for a berth to the Elite World Series. Out of those eight teams, TbS/USSSA ranks four in the top 20 in the state. In the semi-finals, the ninth ranked Piranaz faced off against the Florida Blackhawks out of Melbourne, Florida. In the other semi-final you had top ranked Team MVP going up against the All American Prospects. The Florida Blackhawks surprised the ninth ranked Piranaz by winning the game by a score of 12-7. In the other semi-final the top ranked Team MVP took down the All American Prospects by a score of 8-4. In the championship game Team MVP showed their muscle and ended a good run by the Florida Blackhawks to capture their ninth tournament win in nine tries so far this year. Team MVP has a record of 43-0 with nine tournament wins, including two Super NIT’s in USSSA play.
The 14U Division had a total of seven teams competing for the right to earn a berth to the USSSA Elite World Series. However at the end, weather would not allow the championship game to take place between the South Florida Elite and the Orlando Scorpions. A decision has not been made to determine the outcome.